Sir Henry Shattocke of West Monkton

Staplegrove (bottom left), West Monkton and Creech St. Michael were rural farming communities in the late 16th century. This is a current street map.

There was a wealthy Shattock who may have lived in the Staplegrove area but had substantial business holdings in West Monkton, just 4 miles north east of Taunton, and other nearby villages. He was born about 1550 and died 1610. His name was Henry Shattock. West Monkton is only three miles east of Staplegrove, across the top of Taunton. I call him the founder of the West Monkton Shattocks because a long line of descendants are associated with West Monkton, with the last descendant, John Shattock, probably dying there.

On the map created by Philip Ashford in his study of the west Somerset woolen and cloth trade, you can see that West Monkton had a fulling mill. (I reproduce the map on the English Heritage page.) It also had a large workforce involved in the wool and cloth trade. Given that Sir Henry Shattock was descended from a merchant in the Staplegrove area just a few miles east of West Monkton, we can probably assume he was invested in the family business, the production and marketing of cloth.

There is a record of Henry's ownership stake in a mill in Creech St. Michael, a mile and a half south of West Monkton.

  • " 1585 Henry Shattock and Nicholas Harris sold to Lawrence what was described as three water mills but was probably the other half share." A P Baggs and M C Siraut, ‘Creech St. Michael: Economic history’, in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes), ed. R W Dunning and C R Elrington (London, 1992), pp. 24-26
  • In the same history pp. 27-28 we find this about a church house in Creech St. Michael: " In 1582 half the church house was let by Henry Shattock to Robert Cuffe with a proviso that the churchwardens might sell bread, beer, and victuals in the house and use it for the church ale."
  • In 1584 "Henry Shattock sold half [North End customary mill] to Robert Seager, possibly in trust for Robert Cuffe..."
  • In the a lawsuit 1601 (Calenders to the Proceedings in Chancery in the Reign of Queen ..., Volume 3 p. 311) Henry Shattock's ownership of a property in Creech St. Michael is referenced: Plaintiff Edward Wrothe, Defendant William Greatley were the litigants. “To be relieved against sundry impositions – Land in Michaelcreech, demised by Henry Shattock to Christopher Smalland for 5,000 years; and the defendant, pretending to be entitled to the remainder of the said term, had made a fraudulent bargain to sell the same to the plaintiff.
  • In 1581 Henry bought an estate in Othery, about 9 miles NE of West Monkton that had a long history. It was about 90 acres originally that dated back to the early 12th century: "In 1189 Henry of Sowy did fealty to the abbot of Glastonbury for 3 virgates at Sowy." (Pages 134-146, A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 8, the Poldens and the Levels.)

Henry Shattock owned valuable mills and apparently other property. He was a wealthy businessman. There is a tax document dated 1585 found in the National Archives that refers to a "Sir Henry Shattocke." This is probably the Henry Shattock who shows up in the 1581 Tax Subsidy for West Monkton. He paid five pounds and five shillings, a large tax bill at the time. I think he might have disputed his 1581 tax bill. It was a lot of money.

Sir Shattocke signature on the 1585 tax document.

I thought at first the superscript abbeviation at the front of his name is transcribed as "Sir Shattock." But there is no record of a Shattock or Shaddock who was knighted. Here is an example of an abbreviated superscript form of "sir" from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libary. The superscript looks like an "e" to a modern eye, but it is actually an "r." Or is it?

There is a Shattock family crest that was traditionally worn by knights in battle to distinguish them from enemies. I will call Henry "Sir Henry." Regardless of what turns out to be the case, the fact is Henry was no ordinary commoner. His status had been elevated at least as high as "squire."

In any event, who was this Sir Henry? There is an important clue in a document about a land transaction in the Vexford manor. In the document Henry Shattock's son Christopher and his brother John purchase a tenement and land from the widow Margaret Luttrell. She belongs to the rich castle-owning Luttrells of Dunster. The date of the transaction falls within the late 16th century time frame of the Sir Henry Shattock with interests in mills and other properties near Taunton.

Admissions to the manor of Vexford. 1578-1595 ...35/15/1 Copyhold admission. Land and tenement in Vexford. 1 Margaret Luttrell widow 2 John Shattock and Christopher son of Henry Shattock, brother of said John. Autograph: Luttrell. Seal: ?lion’s... LUTTRELL FAMILY OF DUNSTER MANUSCRIPTS Box 35. (South West Heritage Centre)

Lesley Morgan, local historian in Stogumber, provides the following information about Vexford: "Vexford is in the south of the parish and now is very depopulated. It is not what I consider the far south (Coleford Water etc) since, in between, is an outlier of Elworthy parish. Historically there were three Vexfords. Higher Vexford which can be regarded as part of Hartrow manor, Over Vexford and Lower Vexford, which were manors in their own right. Lower Vexford has been owned by a variety of people but the records have not survived well. It was the centre of the tanning industry. Over Vexford is the interesting one. Geographically it is an odd shape, starting in the centre of the village and running south to the Elworthy boundary. It was owned by the Luttrell family of Dunster Castle."

The property purchased by John and Christopher Shattock was in the area where fulling mills are known to have been situated. Some of the fields in this area are named after the drying racks used around fulling mills. So a mill-owning Henry Shattock might have had a brother and son who sought to extend the family business to the Stogumber area, which was expanding its cloth making activity at a time when the same business was declining in Taunton.

If John actually took up residence in the Vexford manor area, it would be difficult to trace him through local records because "John" is found in the early Stogumber and area records. There is a John and Edith who show up in the 1666 poll tax, which suggests they had property. They moved to Lydeard St. Lawrence (two miles south and east of the Vexford manor area) in the late 17th century. But we cannot be certain this John is descended from the John in the Vexford land transaction.

Hartrow Manor, looking east from where Christopher Shattock lived. Photo by Barbara Cook. This provides a good view of the landscape our Shattock ancestors lived in.

History and a dispute over a dog has provided us with a clue about Christopher Shattock, son of Henry. Lesley Morgan found in the Trevelyan letters one dated about 1600 written to John Trevelyan that references "Christofer Shattocke." Christopher complained about a vicious dog to the lord of the manor. The letter was written by William Lacy, owner of Hartrow Manor. Hartrow Manor is only two miles from Higher Vexford in the village of Elworthy.

". . . I understand that one Christofer Shattocke hath latelie complayned of some unhappie chance uppon a graunde childe of his by a dogge of one Ingrams: Tis true that the dogg did hurte the Childe, & beinge some apparance of little harme, my wife healed itt within two or three dayes, yet I know that there is nott a more gentle dogge that lives, nor any that can lesse indure a night walker, but beeinge layed on the grounde & sleepie louth to bee disquieted, the childe laye by him, played with him, & woulde nott suffer him to reste, there uppon the dogge chaunce to hurte this childe.

Butt I assure you this is nott the cause that moved him to complayne, though he make shew thereof, but tis auncient unkindnesses often falling oute, as by repeticon of the parties them selfes, when they come before you will cawse to appeere I know that Ingram hadd rather leese iiijor of his best sheepe then leave his dogge. I beeseech you the sooner for my sake to permit him to contynew with him, & somewhate the more I intreate this becawse I never knew the dogge to hurte before yet everie daye for the space of ij or iij yeeres for the most parte hath been in my howse amongest children & dogges . . ."

To the wor[shipfull] my verie good frinde John Trevelian Esquire att Nettlecombe [geve] theis

My sympathies are with the dog, naturally. Annoying Shattocke child.

Was the Henry referenced in the letter Sir Henry Shattock of West Monkton? There is a word in the document that rules this out. The Shattocke child is described as the grandson of Christopher. This means Christopher was born forty to fifty years earlier, or even more, let's say around 1550. That also means that Henry must have been born at least another twenty years earlier, about 1530. That is before parish records, but the fact that the name "Christopher" and "Henry" are not found in early Stogumber parish records but are found in the parishes near Taunton helps substantiate the theory Christopher and John were relatively recent Stogumber residents, perhaps established there through the land transaction. Christopher is recorded as dying in Stogumber Sep. 29, 1619, around about the age of 70. He left a will which suggests he was a man of property.

This means there is a Henry Shattock born in the early part of the 16th century in the area around Taunton. Let's look there.

Finding Sir Henry Shattock's Ancestry

What branch of Shattocks did Henry of West Monkton descend from? There are very few Shattocks in the world in the late 16th century, fewer still early in the century. This will make him easier to find.

Other Henrys?

Due diligence suggests we should eliminate the possibility of Sir Henry descending from other Shattock lineages.

  • The first Henry to appear in the Stogumber records is the father of Hugh Shattock born in 1636. So it is not likely that Henry b. about 1530 was born in the Stogumber area. In all probability this Henry is descended from Christopher. Was he the grandson that was bitten by the dog?
  • The Shattocks who migrated to North Molton in the early 16th century spelled their names Shatticke and there are no Henrys in the parish records before 1630.
  • The first Henry we discover in Milverton is born in 1572 in Milverton. His father's name is difficult to read but it is not Henry, probably Thomas.
  • There is a Wells will of a Henry Shattock dated 1578. This might have been the father of Sir Henry Shattock. Where he died is not stated, but the wills of other early Shattocks of west Somerset are found in the Wells Cathedral archives.

No Henrys in the other major branches of the family.

The Vexford Land Transaction

The first substantial clue is that the Henry mentioned in the Vexford land transaction had a brother John, who also must have been born sometime in the early 16th century. The parish records in the Norton Fitzwarren - Staplegrove - West Monkton area began in 1565, 1558, and 1599 respectively. The first Norton Fitzwarren All Saints Shattock entries do not begin until the birth of Mary Shattocke to John and Margaret in 1595. The first Shattocks to appear in the Staplegrove St. John's records appear almost at the same time as the parish record began, with the death of Thomas Shattock in 1559 and John Shattock in 1561. The first entry in the West Monkton parish record does not appear until 1639 with the death of Humphrey Shattocke in 1639. In nearby Creech St. Michael, where West Monkton Shattocks had business, the first entry of a Shattock name there was the marriage of Abraham Shattock to Mary Neathway in 1700. Abraham was born in Petherton, where Shattocks from the Norton Fitzwarren - Staplegrove area had long lineages.

We have no parish records recording the birth, marriage and deaths of Shattocks in early 16th century Staplegrove, but we do have a will that provides us with a Shattock genealogy. The will of John Shattock (John Shattoke. 6 July, 1533. in Wells Will p. 163) refers to sons John and Thomas. In fact it appears these are the John and Thomas who later in life were buried in the Staplegrove churchyard in 1559 (Thomas) and 1561 (John):

chyd. of Peter and Paul in Taunton—Wells iiijd—d. Elsabeth xx nobbles—my son John all my yer [gear] in my shoppe as well as v [£] worth—Thomas my son vjd  xiijs  iiijd other he to have the mansion other [or] tenement the wh. I dyd dwell in—Jone my d. xls—hye crosse in the ch. of Stapulgrowe xxd—sepulker of the same ch. Xx d—Sir John Hykelege xijd—John Gune viijd.
Res.—Alice my wyff.
Overseer.—John Sauser.
Witn.—Thos. Smyth, Thos. Gymmose.
Prob. in eccl. Cath. Well., 29 Dec. 1533.
Summa inventarii, xx5 xjd.

Remember that there were only a handful of Shattock males alive at the time and they were spread around west Somerset, about 13 miles apart. Between seven and fourteen, with the most likely number closer to seven.

Also consider that there is a record in stone of Shattocks in Staplegrove. Up until St. John's was renovated in 2017, there was an inscription on the floor. James William Shattock (1860-1948), a local resident, wrote in a letter in 1943 to his son Victor in California stating that the inscriptions go back to the 14th century. He would have seen the inscriptions before they were damaged in an earlier renovation of the church. So the Staplegrove church appears to be where some of the very earliest Shattock ancestors were buried.

Note that the John who died in 1533 owned a shop and gear, which he passed on to his son John. (The John in the Vexford document may have been the son of this John and grandson of John 1533.) We do not know what "shoppe" John Shattock willed to his son John in 1533. But this clearly identifies the Staplegrove family as a merchant family very early on in its history. Possibly he was a vintner as a John Shattock is identified as a vintner in 1569:

  • Reference: E 176/2/181. Description: Vintner: John Shattock, Leonard Penington als. Tocker Vintner: William Bennett, Stephen Keye Place: Taunton, Som. Date: July 3, 12 Eliz. Held by: The National Archives, - Exchequer, Office of First Fruits and Tenths, and the Court of Augmentations. Date: 17 November 1569 – 16 November 1570

Vintners were closely associated with the export cloth trade because the trade was English cloth for foreign wine. However the shop could have been full of looms for weaving. There is evidence that Norton Fitzwarren had a fulling mill, where cloth was cleaned, thickened and stretched using a water driven system of wooden hammers. There is an essay detailing the economic history of Norton Fitzwarren, where we find an explicit link to Shattocks and the cloth trade. (Download it from here)

The Norton Fitzwarren economy was largely agricultural all the way up to the point where it was urbanized into Taunton. But here is what is interesting. It had a fulling mill in 1504. Since cloth making cottage industries grew up around fulling mills, I'll bet this is one reason why you find Shattocks in the parish records from the late 16th century. There is also an old local rhyme that tells us something about Norton Fitzwarren's relationship to Taunton: "When Taunton was a furzy down, Norton was a market-town." The Norton Fitzwarren market would provide a place for cloth makers to sell their goods.

  • A tucking mill at Langford was recorded in the 1504 will of Agnes Burton of Taunton. A weaver was working in the parish c.1612 and looms are recorded in three 17th-century inventories, one listing five pairs of looms, which suggests a small workshop. Spinning turns or wheels are recorded in three other inventories. Henry Shattocke was described as a ‘clothier’ in 1678.

A clothier makes and sells cloth. The reference is to a "Henry Shattocke" who died in 1678. He was not Sir Henry Shattock, who died in 1610. As you will see, I suspect this Henry was in fact a direct ancestor of Staplegrove living descendants.

So the most probable scenario is that the sons of the John Shattock who died in 1533, John and Thomas, in turn had sons and one of them had a son Henry born about around 1530 or a bit earlier and he had a son Christopher born about 1550. A John was also born about 1530.

The Luttrells of Dunster were heavily involved in the cloth industry and held a Yarn Market at the center of the village. According to the Axford study, Sir George Luttrell established the market in 1686. I am not sure of the date of the Vexford land transaction, but it is possibly around this date. So this is the possible connection between the Shattocks of Staplegrove and the Shattocks of Stogumber (and the Vexford manor). Staplegrove shares a boundary with Norton Fitzwarren. That boundary is Back Brook, a stream flowing down from the Quantock hills and fed by many tributaries that later powered a silk mill in Staplegrove and earlier a fulling mill in the Langford area of Norton Fitzwarren on the other side of the stream. The huge number of Shattocks found in the area strongly suggest they were involved in the textile industries. Henry, John and Christopher were probably conducting the family business in Vexford: cloth making.

Additional evidence is found in Philip Ashford's study of the wool and cloth industry in west Somerset. If we consider Henry Shattock to be a Taunton area merchant, then we might find a reason why his family would have an interest in the Vexford area cloth industry and the connection to the Luttrell family. Ashford, p. 170: (Whilst it appears that Taunton cloth left Bridgwater and its sub-ports in the 16th century, it is also plain that Taunton cloth merchants also looked to the English Channel coast for export routes, perhaps for the bulk of their exports." Perhaps they were securing access to markets through the export ports on the Bristol Channel, in part controlled by the Luttrell family.

Sir Henry's Father?

The Henry in the Vexford document was born about 1530. Sir Henry was probably born about 1550 and died in 1610.

I suspect his father was John, son of John of the 1533 will. His shop may have had looms for weaving in it. Is there any evidence we can find for a Henry born about 1530?

We do find a will dated 1578 for a Henry Shattock in Wells Cathedral. There is no place name associated with the will. In fact Sir Henry Shattock born about 1550 or earlier is likely to be the son of the Henry that died in 1578.

Can we find other signs of a 1530 Henry? There is the Taunton Deane tenant's list, which enumerates tenant farmers falling under the jurisdiction of the Taunton manor. But the first Henry on the list appears in 1598. He is probably not Henry of West Monkton because the tenant farmer Henry Shattocke also appears on the Taunton Deane's list for 1612, two years after Sir Henry Shattocke of West Monkton died. Henry the tenant farmer appears again in 1626 on the list. Was he a son? Possibly a brother's son. Sir Henry Shattocke was probably not a tenant farmer since he owned land directly from the king. He was part owner of a mill, which means he did not lease it from a manor. And he owned an estate in Ottery, east of Taunton.

The fact we do find the name Henry on the Taunton Deane tenant's list provides dome evidence that the Staplegrove Shattocks are related to the West Monkton Shattocks because the name is rare in other parts of west Somerset.

West Monkton Henrys

But we require documentary proof. Let's explore the evidence from West Monkton.

There is a Henry Shattocke who died in West Monkton in 1610, leaving a will. He is likely Sir Henry Shattock.

There is a Henry Shattock who married Mary Byckley in the Norton Fitzwarren All Saints church in 1593. He is most likely Sir Henry Shattocke's son. In 1594 he found himself in court (Bishop's Still visitation) for living asunder from his wife in West Monkton. The case was dismissed. But the judge did admonish him to co-habit with his wife. Perhaps he was not spending enough time at home.

There is also a possibility he may have gone to London to do business there. Or he went to London to take in its more cosmopolitan pleasures and diversions. There was a lot of nouveau riche country squires escaping the claustrophobic country society.

All Saints Church in Norton Fitzwarren.

There is a Henry who married Elizabeth and had children in Norton Fitzwarren beginning in 1623. He would have been born about 1600. He appears on the 1642 Protestation Return. They baptized two sons, Richard (1623) and Thomas (1636) in Norton Fitzwarren. That is a long stretch between the first born son and the second born son. Possibly he had children in another parish, or the records of his other children are lost. The other possibility is that there were two Henry Shattocks in the parish, each which had one son. He is possibly the Henry Shattock, clothier, whose will in 1678 identifies his resident parish as "Norton Fitzwarren." He would have been born around 1600. In fact he is the only Henry to appear on the 1642 Protestation Return in the immediate vicinity. There is a Henry Shattock who paid taxes on property in Staplegrove in 1642 (six shillings and three pence). And a Henry who paid 10 pence in Norton Fitzwarren. I think these are the same Henry who appears on the 1642 Protestation Return and married Elizabeth.

There is a Henry on the Protestion Return for Stogumber, but he was married to Phylis White in Stogumber in 1634 and appears to have died in 1646 in Stogumber.

The document that ties together the Henrys of West Monkton is this land transaction in 1647.

  • Title: Assignment of Lease 1 to 2. Reference: ACC/0606/006. Description: Henry Shattock of Westmonkton, Somerset, yeoman (1) to John Taylor of Westmonkton, Somerset, husbandman. (2) ½ acre of meadow in Broomehay, Westmonkton, part of 8 acres leased by Thomas Warre to Henry Shattock in 1610 for 99 years and 5,000 years. Date: 8 July 1647. Held by: London Metropolitan Archives/

The document links two Henrys in West Monkton, one alive in 1610 and another in 1647. The second Henry must be the Henry who had a son Henry baptized in Norton Fitzwarren about 1630.

Henry Shattock's name in a 1601 land document.

There is Henry Shattocke who marries Prudence Goddard in St. Mary Magdalene in Taunton in 1640. He might have married in Taunton but the parish record shows he lived in West Monkton. He would have been born about 1623. He lived a short life because he died in 1665. According to the will of his sister-in-law Margery Goddard of West Monkton, he has a son Henry.

So using this information, this is how the genealogy unfolds:

Henry Shattock b. abt. 1530 Norton Fitzwarren / Staplegrove (unknown wife) died 1578.

Sir Henry Shattock b. abt. 1550 West Monkton (unknown wife) died 1610

Henry Shattock b. abt. 1575 Norton Fitzwarren (wife Mary Byckley died 1716 in Staplegrove)

Henry Shattock b. abt. 1600 Norton Fitzwarren (wife Elizabeth) died 1678

Henry Shattock Sr. abt. 1623 West Monkton (wife Prudence Goddard) died 1665

Henry Shattock Jr. b. abt 1655 - 1717 West Monkton

John Shattock b. 1688 - 1712 West Monkton

You might be wondering if I have stretched credulity too thin. But there is a will in 1657 that helps tie all these threads together. Prudence Goddard, who married Henry Sr. (born 1623), had a sister Margery who died unmarried in 1657. Here is a summary of her will:

  • MARGERY GODDARD of West Muncton, co. Somerset, singlewoman. Will dated 8 May 1657. Sister Prudence Shattocke, wife of Henry Shattocke of West Muncton, £45. Sister Alice Gale, wife of Roger Gale of West Muncton, £20. Barnard Burd, son of Alice Gale, £10 at 21. Agnes Gale, dau. Of Alice and Roger Gale, £10 at 21. Sister Martha Peice. Wife to George Peirce of West Muncton, £45. Henry Shattocke, son of bro.-in-law Henry Shattock, silver bowl. Residue of goods and lands to bros.-in-law George Peirce and Hy. Shattocke, who are joint executors. Overeers : Uncles John Goddard and John Reed of Tiverton, co. Devon. Witnesses: John Goddard, Wm Bult, Elizabeth Goddard. Proved in London 25 May 1658 by executors. (P.C.C., 262, Wotton.)

Notice the following about this will.

  • Henry married in Norton Fitzwarren, but the will says he was "of West Moncton." So West Monkton Shattocks chose to marry and baptize their children in Norton Fitzwarren, Stogumber or Taunton. This ties the West Monkton Shattocks ultimately to Staplegrove.
  • Henry who married Margery's sister Prudence had a son named Henry. This passing of the Christian name from father to son is a very powerful thread in West Monkton genealogy. Part of the reason may be that a fairly large estate was passed from one generation to the next, so fathers were highly conscious of their family legacy.
  • Margery's sister married into the Gale family, another very prominent and wealthy west Somerset family. "Sir Henry," the grandfather of Henry who married Margery's sister Prudence, had risen to social prominence in local west Somerset society. They married within their social class.

Henry Sr. in Margery's letter was born in 1623 and died in 1665 and Roger Gale is an overseer of his will. The two pages I have in the zip file list his worldly possessions (but not his real estate), which come to 854 pounds, 8 shillings and 6 pence. That is a huge amount of money for his worldly possessions.

Henry Shattock Jr.

So what happened to Henry Jr.?

There was a Henry Shattock who died in Bishop's Lydeard Mar. 4, 1718. There is no Henry born in Bishop's Lydeard before this date so he must have moved to Bishop's Lydeard from elsewhere. He would not be a Taunton Dean tenant farmer as the last Henry on the list was in 1638 and the name Henry does not show up in subsequent lists. Nor does he show up in the 1642 Protestation Return. There is Henry Shattocke born May 19, 1656 in Staplegrove to John and Joan. This is the Henry that many Staplegrove Shattock descendants claim as their oldest known ancestor. I think that is the Henry who died in Bishop's Lydeard in 1718.

I think we find Henry Jr. in Staplegrove. There is a Henry in Staplegrove who became sick while apprenticing with John Sweeting.

    • Somerset Quarter Sessions 1666 p. 16 18. The Court, by consent of John Sweeting of Staplegrove, Henry Shattock, his apprentice, and the churchwardens and overseers of Staplegrove, discharges Sweeting of his apprentice, who is somewhat diseased, on condition that he pay 3/. to the overseers towards binding him out to some other person, and orders that Sweeting shall not have an apprentice placed to him until Shattock attain the age of 24 years, and that the same rule shall be followed generally in the parish.

John Sweeting is identified as a constable in the 1655 Sessions for Taunton (Southwest Heritage Q\SPET/1/108) "Constable" is a fairly high ranking position within the local community. This may be the Henry that married Mary in Staplegrove and died Oct. 24, 1717, leaving a will. But how can we be sure? Again the Margery Goddard's will may provide some evidence. I think this was Henry Shattock Jr. dying at the age of sixty-two.

There is also Henry Shattock Jr. who died 29 Jul. 1712 in West Monkton. We know how old this Henry was because there is a monumental inscription near the entrance to St. Augustine's in West Monkton: "Here lieth ye body of Henry SH / ATTOCK (ie. Shattock), junr: of this parish, who departed / this life ye 21 of July 1712, aged 24 years / eleven months and 8 dayes." So he was born in 1688. This means he could not be Henry Jr. in the Margery Goddard will, who died in 1665. This Henry Jr. married Mary Evans of West Monkton in 1708 when he was eighteen and had a child John Shattock in 19 Jan 1710 in West Monkton.

This Henry Shattock Jr. was the son of a Henry of the other Henry Jr. The monumental inscription speaks to his local status and the status of his parents. He died while still young, and he was the last Henry in the line descending from Sir Henry. The Henry Shattock who died in 1712 had a son John born in 1710 who inherited the Sir Henry entail.

Henry's son John would have only been fourteen when he lost his father. He does not leave a paper trail. There is no candidate marriage for him. I think he died childless and Sir Henry's entail passed to the next closest relative. But who would that be? What is the evidence for the passing of the entail out of the Sir Henry direct descendant line? Part of thhe evidence for this begins again with Margery Goddard's letter.

Margery Goddard's sister Alice was married to a Gale. Henry Shattock is mentioned in the will of Walter Gale, son of Peter Gale, in 1647. The Gale name appears in the Norton Fitzwarren - Staplegrove Shattock lineage. John Shattock (1704-1775), son of Henry and Mary, was baptized in St. John's church in Staplegrove. He married Mary Gale (1704-1775). She was born in Staplegrove and her baptism is only a couple of pages past those of her future husband. And the marriage was very formal. I have the marriage proposal John made to her father Robert Gale of Kingston St. Mary, a very short carriage ride from both Norton Fitzwarren and West Monkton. In fact one of their sons married a Gale.

According to the James William Shattock letter written to his son, the Shattock's had a very large house that sat on a square mile of the best agricultural land in the entire Taunton Deane (the area around Taunton). This house was once called Hope House, now Bishop's Mead. It is shown on this map in black bold letters and a black dot.

This map shows the relationship between Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove (highlighted in pink). The Back Stream (aka Back Brook), whose name is highlighted in blue, runs along the boundary between Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove. Hope House in bold black is where the Shattock estate was located (now called Bishops Mead at 192 Kingston Rd.). Highlighted in yellow are the farms James William says were once owned by Staplegrove Shattocks. James William calls the area "a square mile of the best land in Taunton dene." Also highlighted in pink is Landford, where a fulling mill existed from at least 1504, where cloth was prepared for market. The area shown in the map was heavilty populated by Shattocks up to the 19th century.

Bishop's Mead, formerly Hope House, where the Shattocks lived in high style in the 18th century on a large track of land. There were large gardens in the back. This is probably the house subject to the 1674 Hearth Tax.

In the 1674 Hearth Tax returns you find Staplegrove residents Thomas Shattock, Joanne Shattock, John Gale and Robert Gale living next door to each other. John's future wife lived practically next door to Shattocks in Staplegrove. These Shattocks must have socialized together, sparking a romance between Mary Gale and John Shattock. In the Staplegrove parish records there were not that many people born in the parish during these years, varying from six to twelve. It is possible Mary and John were playmates or school mates.

In a letter to his son Victor in California, James William Shattock (1860-1848), a direct Staplegrove descendant, writes about Hope House. "Our family was at one time a family of importance in the history of Staplegrove, residing at Hope House [now called Bishop's Mead] on the Kingston Road for the Shaddock names are inscribed on the Arch of the dining room mantelpiece, owning nearly a square mile of the best land in Taunton dene."

In identifying the house and gardens on Kingston road in Staplegrove as the Staplegrove Shattocks ancient family home I think James Williams rules out the possibility that John Shattock (1704-1775) was a direct descendant of Sir Henry. The reason? The 1674 Hearth Tax Thomas and Christopher Shattock are living in houses with hearths that subject them to the tax. The houses are in the Burland area, where Hope House is found. So that leaves us with two possibilities. The living descendants of the Staplegrove Shattocks are descended from either Christopher or Thomas Shattock. It had to be Thomas Shattock because he paid nearly twice the tax compared to Christopher. He was in the bigger house, Hope House.

When I studied the genealogy of the Staplegrove Shattocks, I discovered that indeed there is a Thomas Shattock in the paper trail. He was born in September, 1612 in Staplegrove, so he would have been about age fifty-two at the time of the hearth tax in 1664.

Samuel Kebby Shattock

In the Staplegrove Shattocks page, I describe Samuel Kebby Shattock as the "end of the line" for Staplegrove Shattock land holdings stretching back to the 15th century, especially in the Burlands area of Staplegrove. But there is something peculiar about one of the last sales of the land. It appears to be land that Sir Henry once owned.

This raises a question. Was there anything left of the Sir Henry Shattock's fortune in the early 18th century, a century after his death? Or did his descendants either lose the fortune through bad luck, bad management, or just bad behavior? For a possible answer, consider these land transactions.

Sir Henry owned land in nearby Othery (11 miles or 17 km north east of Taunton). From British History Online: "In 1580 John was licensed to alienate to Nicholas Harris, who in 1581 was licensed to sell the estate to Henry Shattock." The fact Henry Shattocke could afford to purchase an estate in part or whole in a village 11 miles from Taunton speaks to the wealth of the family at the time. And this land was possibly entailed, meaning it was passed down through generations. That means it could only pass down from the current owner of the property to his surviving first born son or closest living male relative.

Of course I am assuming this is Sir Henry. It could be another Henry in the direct line of descent for the Staplegrove Shattocks.

The Ottery property was presumably held by descendants all the way down to Samuel Kebby Shattock. In 1827 there is a record of the sale of an Othery dwelling and its land by Samuel Kebby Shattock.

  • A 4 page vellum indenture for the sale of lands in Ottery, Devon, between James Burnell of Yeovil, Somerset, linen draper, Susanna Aplin of Norton Fitzwarren, Samuel Kebby Shattock of Norton Fitzwarren, yeoman, and William Temlett of Bridgewater, gent. Dated the 2nd day of October in the 8th year of the reign of George IV [1827] Property: A messuage and 6 acres of land in Eastfield, land in King Sedgmoor, Ottery, and others in Ottery. Also lands in Pennyshride and Earlake.

And in the Sylvan manuscripts:

  • Transfer of mortgage on property in Othery, Somerset, between William Temlett of Wiveliscombe, gent, Susanna Aplin of Norton Fitzwilliam, Samuel Kebly Shattock, yeoman, James Burnall of Yeovil, line draper, and John Burges of Stogumber, gent. A dwelling house with barn, batous, etc., and a close of land in the Eastfield of 6 acres. Also other closes in the King Sedgmoor, Othery allotment. Arable land in Pennyshide and Carlake. All in Othery.

Samuel Kebby Shattock (1802-1854) was the 2nd great grandson of John Shattock (1704-1775) who married Mary Gale (1705-1775). He is the direct male descendant, so the entail would have track all the way back to Henry. (I have written extensively about Samuel Kebby Shattock on the Staplegrove page.)

The common ancestor between the Monkton Shattocks and the Staplegrove Shattocks probably goes back to John and Alicia Shattock, who were born around 1510. So Samuel Kebby Shattock (1802-1854) is highly unlikely to inherit a Sir Henry entail.

It looks like John, son of Henry Shattock Jr. (1688-1712), was the end of the line for Sir Henry's direct male ancestors and the Sir Shattock fortune. Perhaps he was one of the Shattocks that James William Shattock in his letter describes as the gambling, wild living Shattocks who helped dissipate the fortune Shattocks built up over centuries, beginning with John Shattock of Staplegrove and his "shoppe." Maybe he found the pleasures and diversions of London more to their taste.

The name Henry may have finally run its course in the West Monkton genealogy. But we know that they are a branch of the Staplegrove Shattocks nevertheless. The paper trails of the Staplegrove Shattocks inherit the names we find on the Taunton Dean's list for Staplegrove: Henry, John and Thomas. Henry appears to be a signature name for West Monkton Shattocks. This sets Staplegrove and West Monkton Shattocks apart from the nearby Milverton Shattocks, where the signature name is James. William appears to be the signature name in Stogumber, Francis in Bishop's Lydeard.

Perhaps James William had been too harsh on his ancestors, maybe even a bit angry that they had slid back down the social scale to trades people, tenant farmers and farm laborers. James William was a railroad station master who in his retirement may have been a bit cross with his ancestors for losing that square mile of the finest agricultural land in the Taunton Deane area. But it may simply have been a case where all boats sunk when the tide went out in the export cloth market. By the late 18th century the economic wave that Shattocks had ridden on so successfully, sputtered out and successive generations of Shattocks and Shaddocks had to find their fortunes elsewhere, in London, in New Zealand, in Australia and in North America or in trades in West Somerset.


Henry Shattock and his brother John appear in a land document sometime after 1578 in the Vexford Manor south of Stogumber. The William Lacy letter of 1600 includes evidence that shows the father of Christopher, Henry, probably was born about 1530. In fact Christopher's uncle John, brother to Henry, helps support the idea that Henry the father was born in Staplegrove since John and Thomas are the first names that appear in the Staplegrove parish records.

Sir Henry Shattock, who died in 1610, would have considered the Shattocks he knew in Stablegrove as family, first and second cousins. Perhaps that sense of belonging to a single extended family lasted all the way up to the time of James William Shattock who was born two and a half centuries later. It's hard to say.

A study of the name "Henry" in the parish records, land transactions, court records and wills helps support the theory that Sir Henry of West Monkton was the grandson of John Shattock of Stogumber, merchant, who died in 1533. The fortunes of Staplegrove Shattocks, whose descendants spread to North Fitzwarren, some north to Bishops Lydeard, and some to the rural villages to north and east, including West Monkton, Creech St. Michael and North Petherton, appear to rise and fall with the export cloth market.

Inscription on the floor of St. John's in Staplegrove. Sadly, renovations in 21017 removed it.

If there is any doubt that "Henry" is a name signifying Staplegrove genealogy, it dissolves at the sight of the name inscribed in stone on the floor of St. John's church in Staplegrove where generations of Shattocks married, baptized their children and buried their parents.

In the 1943 letter by James William Shattock, he tells a tale of a once prominent and large land holding family that fell back down the social scale to trades people, farmers and labourers. Since I first discovered this letter in 2016, I have been trying to find the historical documentation that proves or disproves elements of the letter. The most difficult claim was that the Shattock family had once been a prominent and wealthy family, at least in the area around Taunton, the major town and civic centre in west Somerset. Although small details in the letter can be shown to be inaccurate, as a general statement of Sir Henry and his descendants, and the Staplegrove Shattocks of Hope House, it is a story that rings true with the facts.